California Works On Fracking Phaseout

Nearly three years after Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom announced his aim to phase down fracking in California, officials have published formal plans.

Adding a provision to phase out permits to conduct well-stimulation treatments to the state’s Public Resources Code is what the proposed rule is all about, according to a notice from the Geologic Energy Management Division (CalGEM) of the California Department of Conservation.

Well-stimulation treatments are used to increase output in oil and gas wells. These treatments include hydraulic fracturing, acid fracturing, and acid matrix methods, commonly known as fracking.

Fracking is a method for extracting petroleum and natural gas from rock formations by forcing liquids into the rock at high pressures, creating fissures.

In addition to using liquids containing poisons or other carcinogens that might damage marine life, the technique also increases the chance of oil spills and releases pollutants into the air.

Fracking permits are being phased out for several reasons. One of these is the growing public concern and dissatisfaction with hydraulic fracturing and its associated impacts. This public unhappiness has only grown since the Geologic Energy Management Division began a comprehensive permitting process for the practice.

Both onshore and offshore projects would be subject to the proposed legislation. It is highlighted that CalGEM would not approve applications for permits to conduct well-stimulation treatments.

Newsom said in April 2021 that CalGEM will take such regulatory action to create a healthier future for our children.

According to Newsom, California has to transition away from oil, and fracking has no place in that future.

In their rationale for the plan, CalGEM outlined their goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from California’s hydrocarbon industry while safeguarding people, their property, and the public’s health and safety.

On Tuesday, March 26, one day before the conclusion of a 45-day public comment period, CalGEM announced that it will hold a public hearing about the proposed rulemaking.